Tenant Useful Information

Tenant Useful Information

Help, Advice and Tips for Tenants Renting From Aston Woolf

It’s very important to let tenants have copious information before they move in, including essential key facts about the tenancy, the property and their responsibilities.

How can I find a property to rent with Aston Woolf?

The easiest way to keep up to date is to REGISTER your details. You may be looking for something unusual or specific, if so you may wish to contact us.

Once you register with us, you’ll be sent newly available properties that match your chosen criteria, meaning you’ll be the first to see them.

Alternatively, you can also visit our website at any time to view our AVAILABLE PROPERTIES.

Please note, for privacy and security we tend not to advertise all of our properties with ‘To-Let’ boards.

How do I arrange to view a property?

You can arrange a viewing by calling us on 01159 626958 or by using the form on the CONTACT US page.

We’ll then arrange a convenient appointment to meet you at the property.

We can arrange evening and weekend viewings.

If you fall in love with a property you’ve just viewed and want to ensure no further viewings are booked, you may like to reserve the property with a ‘holding deposit’ of £200. (which is taken off the settlement balance when you move in)

What comes with a property if it's Furnished?

There are no hard and fast rules about what a furnished or unfurnished property would include, however this may give you some idea.

Furnished properties would usually include all the main fixtures, furnishings and fittings, white goods, with lounge and bedroom furniture.

Unfurnished properties are normally provided with such basics as carpets, curtains and light fittings.

Part-furnished homes may include white goods in the kitchen and a few pieces of furniture to start you off, with the ability to make the house your own with your personalised pieces.

An Inventory will take place on the day you move into your property(if applicable) so you know exactly what will be included.

What's the application procedure?

You may reserve the property with a holding fee of £200 to take the property off the market whilst the paperwork is completed. This will ensure that no further viewings are booked, whilst the holding fee is completely refundable against the deposit.

Complete a simple application form, these are available online, or we can email you a copy.

On the application form we will need your personal information and details of your employer and previous Landlord. A name, address (or email address) and phone number would be perfect.

Do all occupants have to fill in an application form?

All adult applicants must fill in an application form. Children living at the address should be named on the form. We cannot grant a Tenancy to anyone under 18 years of age due to Legal Restrictions.

Will I need to provide ID?

We will need a photocopy of your driving licence or passport. If you are a DSS applicant we will need your National Insurance number and a recent Utility Bill. If you cannot provide sufficient ID please contact us.

What if I have a CCJ?

Aston Woolf realises that a CCJ (County Court Judgement) doesn’t make someone a ‘bad’ Tenant. We only ask that CCJ’s are declared on the application form. This is due to the referencing process as undisclosed CCJs will result in a declined application.

In fact, we much prefer to contact your previous Landlord for information on whether you have been a decent tenant, paid your rent on time and have left the house in a suitable state. If you have, then you’ve got nothing to worry about. However, if you haven’t got a previous Landlord we will have to carry out a Bank reference instead.

Will I need a guarantor?

On some occasions a Guarantor will be required to back up your application. This would usually be where you haven’t let a property before, if you’re under 21 years of age, if you’re a student, or if you are not working full time and not supported by the DSS.

If you are offered the opportunity to support your application by supplying a guarantor, your Guarantor must be in full time employment, a resident in the UK for the last 3 years and preferably a Homeowner.

Once I've passed the referencing what happens next?

Once your references have come back ship-shape, we’ll then complete the paperwork and the Tenancy Agreements.

We’ll contact you to arrange payment of the deposit and formally sign the agreements.

How soon can I move in?

Depending on your timescales and availability of the property we can arrange for you to move in the next day, subject to references and payment of your first months Rent and Deposit.

What is a Tenancy Agreement?

A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding document which details the obligations and responsibilities of the Tenant and the Landlord.

The majority of our Tenancies are ASTA’s or Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement’s which are recommended and compiled by ARLA.

How long will the Tenancy Agreement be?

For student properties the Tenancy Agreement will usually be for 12 months, starting and ending on 1st July.

Professional and Family lettings will be for a minimum of 6 months. Some properties will only be available on a 12 month agreement (ie) some City Centre Apartments.

If you would like a longer agreement this can be organized. If you are new to letting property, new to an area, or moving in with someone for the first time we would always recommend a 6 month contract to give you the flexibility if things don’t go quite to plan.

What about the deposit?

Landlords need some kind of Insurance (such as a deposit) to enable them to sleep well at night, in the knowledge that, if a Tenant doesn’t meet their obligations within the Tenancy Agreement such as maintaining the cleanliness and condition of the property, then at least the deposit may cover some of the issues.

A deposit equal to one 1 months’ rent is required on all properties before you move in. This will be held with a government backed deposit protection Account. We use the DPS.

Aston Woolf are members of the DPS (Deposit Protection Service) which is a Government approved tenancy deposit protection scheme. Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP), as set out in the Housing Act 2004, requires that all agents/landlords protect their tenants’ deposits under a statutory tenancy deposit scheme within 14 days of receiving a deposit.

The DPS will safeguard that deposit throughout the period of the tenancy and repay the funds to the appropriate parties in accordance with their instructions at the end of the tenancy period. The scheme is supported by a dedicated call centre and an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service.

Am I allowed to keep Pets?

Pets can sometimes be allowed in our managed properties, in all circumstances the Tenant must gain permission in writing from the Agent or the Landlord prior to a pet being introduced to the property.

If the Landlord accepts a Pet at the property, we may charge a ‘deep-clean payment’ to cover additional damage, cleaning and fumigation at the end of the Tenancy.

Do I need Insurance?

We always strongly recommended Contents Insurance.

Tenants should review any existing policies when renting a property as some standard insurance products may place restrictions on cover for rented property.

Contents Insurance is well priced and can provide good peace of mind. It would be invaluable in the event of a fire, flood or burglary. Tenants are responsible for insuring any of their own possessions.

There are various specialist insurance products designed for tenants and rented property. Contact us for a discounted quote.

How often can the Landlord increase the Rent?

Rent of an existing tenancy can only be increased once every twelve months. Where an Assured Shorthold Tenancy holds over as a statutory periodic tenancy, a specific prescribed form called a ‘section 13 notice’ will be used to notify tenants of a proposed increase in the rent.

Do I have to allow access to the Property?

Aston Woolf or someone working on our behalf has the right to view the property to assess its condition and to carry out necessary repairs or maintenance at reasonable times of the day. The law says that a landlord or agent must give the tenant at least 24 hours prior notice of any visits in writing.

The Tenant may allow Aston Woolf to enter the property sooner to carry out work or an inspection, however we will only do this if agreed verbally with a Tenant that gaining access is acceptable to them. The landlord or Agent may gain access to the property in an emergency with no warning.

Who's responsible for Safety, Repairs & Maintenance?

A landlord, in very general terms, has a legal responsibility to repair the structure and exterior of the property, including drains, gutters and external pipes; to keep in working order the installations for the supply of gas, electricity and water; and, for the installations for the provision of space and water heating.

The landlord also has other legal responsibilities relating to the safety of such items as gas, electricity and furnishings as well as the general standard or fitness of the property for habitation.

A tenant has an implied covenant to act in a “tenant-like manner”. This means to report disrepair promptly; to take reasonable steps to ensure that neither the tenant nor guests damage the property, its fixtures and fittings; to do the minor day to day things any home-occupier would normally do e.g. replace light bulbs, fit a new battery in a smoke or CO2 detector, tighten an odd screw which has come loose on a door handle; to keep the property reasonably warm and aired to help prevent condensation or freezing of pipes; to leave the property secure when absent from it; to keep the garden and other areas reasonably tidy and free from rubbish.

How do I end my Tenancy?

The law around ending a tenancy is relatively straightforward as long as the right timescales and procedures are followed, along with the use of the correct format of notice. It is recommended that you end your agreement properly if you want to leave. If you don’t you may still be liable to pay rent, even after you’ve moved out. To do this, you have to give written notice to the landlord. You may not be able to end the agreement early if you have signed for a tenancy for a fixed period of time.

What's the notice period?

If a Landlord wishes to gain possession, they must give a minimum of 2 months notice in writing to end at the end of a period. If you wish to give notice, you must give a minimum of 1 months notice in writing to end at the end of the period. Definition of a period – E.G. if your tenancy commenced on the 5th of a month, the notice will expire on the 4th.

What if I have a joint tenancy?

You have a joint tenancy if you share with a spouse, partner, family member or friend and both/all of your names are on the agreement. The actions of each individual person will affect all of your rights. For instance: If one of you gives notice to the landlord, the agreement will normally automatically be ended for all of you. None of you will have the right to continue living there. However, this does not apply if you have a fixed term tenancy that has not come to an end. If one of you leaves without giving notice, the whole rent will still be due and the other(s) will have to pay the missing person’s share. If one of you has caused damage, the landlord may be entitled to take money out of your shared deposit. If you’re thinking about leaving, be sure to discuss it with the other joint tenant(s) before you take any action. It may be possible for someone else to take your place, and/or for the landlord to give a new agreement to those who are staying.

What if I want to end the tenancy early?

There are only limited ways in which this can happen; the landlord cannot make the tenants move out, nor can the tenants lawfully walk away from their obligations to fulfil the contract. Either party might request of the other that a formal “surrender” of the tenancy be allowed. It would then be up to the parties to agree the terms and conditions of such a surrender. This might include some financial compensation for inconvenience or costs incurred.

What if I just walk away?

Walking away or posting the keys through the letterbox is called ‘abandonment’ and will not end your agreement. Your agreement with the landlord will continue even though you’ve left and the landlord can continue to charge you rent, so you’re likely to build up rent arrears: if your agreement is fixed term, you can be charged rent until the term ends if your agreement is periodic, you can be held liable until the agreement could have been ended by giving proper notice. The landlord can apply for a court order to make you pay what you owe. The court will decide whether you should have to pay your landlord the money or not. The landlord may have to show that s/he has tried to find another tenant for the property but hasn’t been able to do so. If the landlord has managed to let out the property they can’t claim rent from you after the new tenant moved in. If the landlord doesn’t make any effort to let out the property the court is likely to reduce the amount of money you will have to pay.

Can I get someone else to move in?

This may be possible if you have no choice but to leave early and want to avoid paying rent on more than one home. However, you have to get the landlord’s agreement for the person you suggest to move into the property. The landlord may want to take up references for them.

Tenant application form

We’ll guide you all the way

Great! Now that you’ve chosen your ideal home, you can fill out the simple application form, online!

Before we can take your property off the market, you will need to make payment of the Application Fee.(click app fee to Application Fee Section)

Tenant FAQ

You can pay any fees using our on-line payment facility using a Debit Card (Note: Credit card payments will incur a 4% fee).

Or you can call into our office to make the payment.

As soon as you’ve made a payment, we will send you a link to the Online Application form.

Please see important information relating to the Application procedure here.

Application Procedure
  • APPLICATION FORM – Please fill out ALL sections of the application form, if it doesn’t apply to you, put N/A
  • CREDIT HISTORY – This will tell us if you have any Bad Credit History, CCJ’s or Bankruptcy. If you do, we will need a Guarantor to act on the Tenancy
  • PROOF OF ID – Copy of your Passport or Driving Licence
  • PROOF OF RESIDENCY – Utility bill/Bank statement dated within the last 3 months
  • PROOF OF INCOME – 3 months wages slips and Bank statements are required. If the rent is more than 40% of your annual income, or you haven’t been employed for longer than 6 months, we may need a Guarantor
  • PREVIOUS LANDLORD – We will collect a verbal and/or written reference, so we will need your previous landlords name and number
  • GUARANTOR – We will require a Guarantor if you are a student or if you are not in permanent Full Time employment, or haven’t been employed for longer than 6 months.

If a Guarantor is required, we will need your Guarantor to fill out an application form and provide wage slips or mortgage statement, so please ask them first.

If you have a question, please call us on 0115 9626958 to discuss

Tenant Application Fees

We Look After Our Purchasers

Before we can take your property off the market, each tenant will need to pay the Tenancy Fee and Holding Fee.

Our Tenancy fees are as listed below;
  • Single Application
    A single applicant will be charged at £250 (inc VAT) per Tenancy.
  • Joint Application
    Two Tenants will be charged a Tenancy Fee of £300 (inc VAT)
  • Student Application 
    Each Tenant will be charged a Tenancy Fee of £180 (inc VAT)
  • Guarantor Application 
    Covering credit referencing and production a Deed of Guarantee as part of the Tenancy Agreement £60 (inc VAT)
  • Pet Deposit Returnable 
    This will be protected in addition with your security deposit in a Government-authorised scheme and may be returned at the end of the tenancy £100 (per pet)

We also provide some other options at extra cost, which are completely optional.

  • Express Tenancy £60
    An express application for those wanting to move in within 3 days.
  • Saturday Check-In £60
    For those wanting to move in to their property on a Saturday.
  • Other Fees
    Other fees and costs may apply during the Tenancy such as late payment fees, charges for lost keys and change of locks, credit card fees. All fees are detailed in the Tenancy agreement.
Tenancy Administration Fee Terms & Conditions

If you wish to apply to rent a property please observe the following procedure. A tenancy will be offered to you subject to contract and more specifically, subject to the following conditions:

  • A fully completed application form has been submitted together with the appropriate fee.
  • The landlord has accepted the offer.
  • Satisfactory credit check has been carried out by an independent credit referencing agency (details on request).
  • Satisfactory references have been obtained.

If your application is rejected prior to acceptance and/or seeking references, all monies are refundable. Once you have been provisionally accepted by the landlord (subject to references and contract) the reference and admin fee become non-returnable unless the landlord withdraws the property due to their own unforeseen circumstances.

If you choose to withdraw after acceptance, or undeclared adverse information is uncovered during referencing, then you will forfeit all fees.

Before moving into a property payment of the first month’s rent and deposit must be made by debit or credit card (a 4% handling charge applies to credit cards) or a BACS payment. Funds must be cleared before keys can be released.

If you are in any doubt whatsoever as to what is included within the property, for example furniture or appliances, you should seek further clarification prior to submitting your application.

Tenant FAQ
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